Q. What are the side effects for the regular asthma inhalers? I am taking an inhaler (non-steroid one) for my asthma and I wanted to know what can be possible side effects to this treatment.
A. Simple inhalers that contain a material that helps with keeping the bronchi not constricted, have side effects that are related to the sympathetic nervous system- such as slight tremor, small increase in heart rate or blood pressure, but these are all in greater risk when taking in a not-inhaled way. Patients must be cautioned against using these medicines too frequently, as with such use their efficacy may decline, producing desensitization resulting in an exacerbation of symptoms which may lead to refractory asthma, meaning that the attack might not be relieved by these medications anymore.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommended dosing for systemic prednisone, prednisolone, or methylprednisolone in pediatric patients whose asthma is uncontrolled by inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators is 1–2 mg/kg/day in single or divided doses. It is further recommended that short course, or "burst" therapy, be continued until the patient achieves a peak expiratory flow rate of 80% of his or her personal best or until symptoms resolve. This usually requires 3 to 10 days of treatment, although it can take longer. There is no evidence that tapering the dose after improvement will prevent a relapse.